The Jefferson County Fourth Street Health Center truly has had a positive impact in our communities.
In just six short years, the health clinic established to help the area's uninsured receive quality medical care has grown by leaps and bounds, thanks to the officials who oversee operations and its many volunteers.
The health center opened its doors in a former dinette on North Fourth Street in Steubenville on March 13, 2006. The project of several community leaders who recognized the growing need for such a clinic, the health center operated on local donations, and officials applied for federal, state or local grants shortly after the clinic began operations.
Since those early days, the clinic has continued to offer basic health care for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and respiratory ailments. In fact, it served its 10,000th patient recently, and that's something to be proud of.
The success at the Fourth Street location has allowed for a satellite clinic in Mount Pleasant, and plans are under way to add a dental clinic and pharmacy to the operation, as well as expand the medical facilities through a donation of a former medical office building from Holy Trinity Greek Church.
Under the leadership of Ann Quillen, executive director, the clinic is basically operated by volunteers, and that includes doctors, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, nurses and other medical staffers, as well as office workers, medical students and other volunteers - all of which have their own careers, families and daily responsibilities.
The volunteer staff literally volunteers thousands of hours of service to the clinic yearly, which is a blessing, according to Quillen. However, an unstable economy has resulted in more patients relying on the health center, which in turn means more volunteers are needed.
If anyone is looking to make an impact in the lives of others, to give back to our community, here's a chance to do just that. Good things are happening at the Jefferson County Fourth Street Health Clinic, and we hope that continues.